A candidate’s position on abortion has always been an important issue for me. But I’m also aware that a “pro-life” position is much broader than simply protecting the life of the unborn. (See “Pro-pro-life.”)
So, when I came across ProLifeProObama.com, I was intrigued.
Douglas W. Kmiec, is pro-life and pro-Barack Obama. The Constitutional Law professor at Pepperdine University and former dean of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., makes the following arguments in his new book, Can A Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question About Barack Obama.
Overturning Roe Vs. Wade Will Not End Abortion in America
Overturning Roe Vs. Wade, a long time goal of the pro-life movement, would not end abortion in the United States, it would simply send the decision to the states.
If states with more than 45 percent “pro-life” sentiment chose to outlaw abortion, this would only impact 16 states accounting for 10 percent of abortions nationwide, or less than 100,000 abortions a year.
Women in these 16 states would still be able to travel to seek an abortion in another state, or seek an illegal abortion, making the impact likely less than a 10 percent reduction in abortions nation-wide.
States with the highest abortion rates in the country, like California and New York, would be unlikely to outlaw abortion in their states.
[Source: Catholics United Study “Reducing Abortion in America: Beyond Roe v. Wade”]
Studies Show that Economic Support for Women and Families Reduces Abortion
In a recent study released by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good finds that social and economic supports such as benefits for pregnant women and mothers and economic assistance to low-income families have contributed significantly to reducing the number of abortions in the United States over the past twenty years.
Economic assistance to low income families is correlated with a 20% lower abortion rate. Across the entire United States, this translates into 200,000 fewer abortions.
In the 1990s, states with more generous grants to women, infants and children under the age of five as provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program had a 37% lower abortion rate.
Higher male employment in the 1990s was associated with a 29% lower abortion rate.
The abortion rate has declined most rapidly from 1990-1996 when there was an economic boom under President Clinton. While rates have continued to decrease, they have declined less rapidly in recent years when poverty rates have been climbing.
[Source: Catholics in Alliance Study “Reducing Abortion in America: The Effect of Economic and Social Supports” and The Guttmacher Institute “An Overview of Abortion in The United States”]
Hmmm? So, looking at the overall platform of the “pro-life” Republicans and “pro-choice” Democrats, which party will do more to reduce the number of abortions in America? I’m going to have to give this some more thought! What are your thoughts?